It wasn’t me!

By Ros Burton (Principal – The Real Estate People)

I was reading an article recently about the number of tenants that are “allowed” in a rental property and the story raised an issue we sometimes face at The Real Estate People.

I’ve said many a time that, as a property manager, you never take sides. You’re an advocate for the tenant AND the landlord at the same time and often that’s a difficult balancing act.

So today, please forgive me if I’m leaning a little closer to the landlord’s perspective.

Honouring the tenancy agreement is something we take very seriously at the office because it’s how you accurately monitor the number of people in a rental property (because the document lists all the occupants).

It lets the landlord know that four families aren’t living in their two-bed unit. This also comes back to the number safely allowed to reside at the property.

I completely understand how a tenant might think it’s no big deal to allow someone to share their unit or home “just for a while” and if they’re added on the lease as an approved occupant then it’s no problem, but if they’re there undocumented then that’s a big no, no. The first question is easily the most important – why isn’t the person on the lease?

Do they have a bad rental history or a reason they do not want a documented address?

Wear and tear on a property can also be attributed to the number of occupants, so that is important to stay on top of as well.

Thankfully, because of our stringent quarterly inspection regimen, we rarely have an undocumented tenant slip through the cracks. But, if people are going to deliberately mislead their management agency, it can happen.

But do so at your peril. What tenants should always remember is that it’s their name on the lease and they are responsible for any damage caused by ‘nameless’ residents.

You mightn’t have punched that hole in the wall or broken that light fixture, but you’ll be reaching into your pocket to fix the problem.

Be open and honest with your property manager and you’ll enjoy a hassle-free rental experience.